• At Home With... Simone Osborne

    By COC Staff

    Over the next little while, we’ll be checking in with members of our Canadian Opera Company family to find out how they’re keeping busy at home during this time of physical distancing. From their latest Netflix binge to testing new recipes to establishing a work-from-home routine, they’ll share what keeps them grounded and entertained.

    Simone Osborne - Soprano
    (with guest appearances by bass-baritone Gordon Bintner and Gatsby)

    Gord and I in the Douro Valley, Portugal, on a quick break together between performances, where we ended up as the Coronavirus entered the EU. He had just closed Carmen at Oper Frankfurt and I had just had opening night of A Village Romeo and Juliet by Delius. Sadly, the rest of my run was cancelled, and we had to rush back to Germany early as the pandemic became more serious in Europe.


    Shortly after we moved to Germany, I started trying to recreate a chili recipe that Gordon’s mom makes. She is a great cook and it is one of his favourite dishes. I seem to have perfected our version, and it is the meal we turn to when feeling far from home and those that we love most. Reminds us of big family meals at his parents’ lake house, and also the amazing Persian dishes my mom prepares that come straight from her mom, my beloved grandmother.


    The great Gatsby – seven pounds of joy! Our life has seemed to maintain a bit of normalcy because our sweet boy still needs to go for his walks. A silver lining at this difficult time is that we have discovered a gorgeous, expansive and relatively deserted park a few kilometres from us. Every other day we walk Gatsby over there (while avoiding other foot traffic like it’s our full-time job!) and let him run loose over the hills and through the forest. It is his (and our!) new happy place. It makes for about a 10 km trip and helps us keep moving as our gym here has been closed for weeks.

    Gatsby on one of our walks at Niddapark in Frankfurt, Germany.

    Our Piano

    Thank goodness for our little apartment piano. Gordon and I both enjoyed a bit of time away from the piano and off our voices at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. But we were back at it quite quickly, as we weren’t sure whether we might have to be back on stage on short notice. Once it became clear that wasn’t going to be the case, we were reminded of what it feels like to sing whatever we like, without the pressure to learn something on a deadline, or prepare upcoming repertoire. We take turns sitting at the keyboard, singing lieder, songs and arias just for ourselves. Revisiting past pieces that bring us joy, and learning new things that spark our interest. What a gift it has been! We are both so grateful to connect with our musical selves again in this way.

    The Canadian Opera Company and other arts organizations in Toronto are facing unprecedented financial challenges due to the effects of COVID-19. If it is possible for you at this time, we respectfully ask you to consider making a donation.

    Photo credits: Simone Osborne.

    Posted in At Home With...


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